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Monday, April 27, 2009

Seaweed Salad Recipe

Finally, a seaweed salad like they make at the Powerhouse restaurant! It's something I've always wanted to make, but the seaweed part intimidated me. To make seaweed salad it seemed I needed to know which seaweed to pick, how to dry them, and then I needed to find a recipe. So I've been saying I'll pick my own seaweed and make a salad for years - only to never do it.

This past Saturday I decided to just wing it and try. Go on a guess and a whim so to speak. I've had the Powerhouse seaweed salad enough times now that I figured I could 'back' engineer the recipe.

So I took the dogs down to the beach to see what I could find on the rocks at low tide below the house here on Mill Bay. I picked a bunch of what I later determined to be ribbon kelp. I took it home and rinsed it in fresh water for about an hour. Then I dried it on an oven rack on the counter. I tried to dry some in the oven too - but this was a miserable failure. The stuff I put into vinegar turned into a sublime salad.

Here's how I did it:

1) I only picked the smallest ribbons of kelp that lacked the rib down the middle. I also snipped them off the plant rather than pulling the whole plant up - this way I did not kill the plant and depopulate Mill Bay of my new found garden greens supply.

2) I soaked the fronds in freshwater for about 45 minutes and changed the water once. At the end of the 45 minutes, I took all the fronds out and spread them out on a rack (Pictures 2 & 3).

3) I let the fronds air dry for an hour or so at room temperature and then cut them up into thin strips (as thin as I could cut). I saved time here by layering a bunch of fronds on top of each other and cutting them all at once.

4) I put all the strips into a non-reactive bowl and covered them with rice vinegar. Just enough vinegar to cover them. Then I put them in the fridge for 3 hours.

5) After 3 hours I poured off all the vinegar (I used a sieve) and then coated the seaweed strips with sesame oil. I used a tablespoon or so - a good hefty dose anyway. At first I could not find any sesame seeds in our cup board so I added some 'Aji Nori Furikake' that someone had left in our spice cabinet (perhaps a tablespoon or so). It appears to be a mix of ground up seaweed, salt, sugar, bonito extract, and sesame seeds. I also finally found the plain sesame seeds and added a bunch of those too. I guess since it all depends how much seaweed you pick that I should just say that seasoning 'is to taste'.

6) Then I stirred it all up and ate it (top picture). Zoya was impressed with it too. And I must say it actually tastes fresher than what they make at the powerhouse. And hey, it's free for the picking! Patrick


Katie said...

That's great - I'm glad it turned out so well! And thanks for sharing your methods, I think I'll give it a shot next weekend.

Will, Ashley, Liam, Olive, & Marley Dog McClusky said...


The Yellow Porcupine said...

Just don't be pickin' in our patch!

Isiik said...

Having tried it I say it WAS a success. I would suggest adding a second type of seaweed next time for texture. And I bet this is soooo good for you.

Ishmael said...

I'm going to have to try it too, and fortunately, Mill Bay Beach is within striking distance.

Have you tried the kelp deep fried into chips? Snip into triangles (better for dipping), place in hot oil, remove, drain, sprinkle with sesame seeds, cool and enjoy. Watch out for the massive splatter as the kelp hits the oil.) Elizamac has the scoop over at Sheep in Wolf's Clothing (

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

I gather cucumbers another good ingediant to add to seaweed salads. I plan on adding some thin slices to my next salad.

Also - Ishmael, someone else told me to try the same thing. Only they specified ribbon kelp and said to sprinkle them with garlic powder afterwards. I plan on letting the slices dry a bit before I add them to the oil - hopefully this will cut down on the splatter.


Zoya said...

I just made some kelp chips. Put some canola oil in the wok and fired it up. Collected the kelp while I was walking the dogs. And man was it good! We tried garlic powder, and then salt and then nothing for seasoning - and nothing was the best. The kelp we used turned green and bubbly in the wok and was amazingly crisp and light when done. I will be doing this again! And yes Ishmael was right - kelp explodes when it hits the oil!